Rep. Todd Akin And The Republican Party's Taliban Views Of Women

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By Akin's logic, unwanted rape-pregnancy is the woman's fault because she didn't "shut that whole thing down."


[Black Star News Editorial]

Republicans
want to throw Rep. Todd Akin under the bus over his comments about
"legitimate rape." They want the world to know his views are "aberrant,"
"beyond the pale," and not representative of the party. 
 
That's
a hypocritical stance: the party knows it and Rep. Akin knows it.
That's why so far he's refused to withdraw from his senate race against
Democrat Claire MccasKill. 
 
Akin's been in hot water since he
expressed his views on abortion in the case of pregnancies resulting
from rapes. Akin was responding to a Television interviewer's  questions
last week when he offered this classic: 
 
"It seems to me from
what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," he said, referring
to the prospects of a pregnancy arising from rape.  
 
"If it's a
legitimate rape," he added, "the female body has ways to try and shut
that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or
something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment
ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child." 
 
In
subsequent days, Akin followed up his classic comments with more;
stating that many women lie about rapes in order to gain access to
abortions. 
 
These weren't remarks coming from a prepubescent
boy; but a grown-up Republican male member of Congress hoping to be
elected U.S. Senator from Missouri. He had previously enjoyed a wide
lead over Mccaskill. 
 
Let's examine his comments in two separate
parts: "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and
shut that whole thing down." 
 
In other words, Akin sees the violation itself, the attack on the woman, the rape, as a secondary issue. 
 
What's
more important to him is whether a pregnancy would result or not. So
he's telling his interviewer that the dilemma of how to deal with the
pregnancy, whether to abort or not, rarely arises anyway, because "the
female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down." 
 
However,
should this "Akin sperm neutralizer" technique not work out, the
would-be senator still believes the rape victim should be denied
abortion.  
 
That's where the second half of his answer comes
into play: "But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something: I
think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be
of the rapist, and not attacking the child." 
 
Again here Rep.
Akin shows where his sympathies are: the victimized woman, once again,
takes a secondary position. Even though she was raped and impregnated,
Rep. Akin still maintains "the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and
not attacking the child." 
 
One wonders if Rep. Akin would feel
the same way if he was not a man but a woman. The female rape victim's
feelings, suffering, pain, violation, humiliation, stigmatization are of
no significance to Rep. Akin.  
 
In Rep. Akin's mind, the
woman's body is merely an incubator of male sperm; and what results from
the sperm, the pregnancy, and preserving it, which to Akin is most
important thing. 
 
After all, in Akin's view, the woman did have a
chance to  prevent the pregnancy. So it was her fault that she didn't
"shut that whole thing down." 
 
This is clearly a Taliban perspective of women and their role in society; blaming the female victim for the rape.  
 
In
Afghanistan when a man commits adultery, it's his female lover who is
stoned to death. The woman is killed for failing to "shut that whole
thing down." 
 
Do other Republicans share Rep. Akin's views that women should "shut that whole thing down"?  
 
Of course.  
 
We
witnessed heated, emotional, and angry debates in State Senates
throughout the country about women's rights to abortion and whether they
should be required to submit to vaginally invasive pregnancy tests to
qualify for care.  
 
Rep. Paul Ryan also co-sponsored with Rep.
Akin a bill preclude government funding of abortion except in cases of
"forcible rapes." This language was later removed from the bill, which
passed the House with overwhelming Republican support, but never made it
to the Senate. 
 
So Mitt Romney's running mate also believes that there are different "grades" or "levels" of rapes. 
 
How
outraged was Romney by Akin's remarks? "I can't defend what he said and
I can't defend his candidacy," was the Republican candidates initial
response. It was only later once he realized the level of fallout that
he called for Akin to step down. 
 
As President Obama said after the Akin comments: "rape is rape." 
 
Rep. Akin was just being honest when he publicly stated what he knows many of his colleagues also believe. 
 
The official published Republican Party platform also would ban abortions even in the cases of pregnancies from rapes.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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